On Writing | Don’t Write Alone | Notes on Craft

A Case Against Killing Your Darlings

I want any novel I write to be full of darlings. If possible, all darlings.

Only when I had a more substantial draft did I start working with the words I had in place, trying to pull every phrase, line, and page up to the level at which the so-called darlings, like higher beings, already existed. I knew I might have finished The Incendiaries when I could open the book at random, read a few lines, and not feel compelled to revise it all over again.